when social selling meets big tobacco
Tobacco producers are using social media and innovative marketing tactics to hook new customers on smoking. They’re offsetting the traditional restricting laws on advertising tobacco to young people. You’ll find the Big Tobacco major players hosting extravagant concerts and events held in major cities worldwide including Milan, Cairo, and Rio de Janeiro. The goal is to attract new buyers for tobacco products such as cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

These events attract famous young social media influencers who share photos and videos of their lavish tobacco-sponsored parties. And, with appealing hashtags such as #mydaynow and #iamonthemove, these influencers attract even underaged followers to view their posts. So, here’s a brief on the marketing tactics used by the Big Tobacco industry and how some brands maintain a whitelist position.

Marketing strategy used by tobacco industry


You’ll find that some tobacco brands offer expensive scholarships which involve students to write an essay or thesis on topics such as the benefits of vaping, or how e-cigarettes reduce the health risks of smoking.

According to the Associated Press, despite that e-cigarette producers state that their target audience exclusively comprise adults who want to stop smoking, some also target underaged teens.

All that Social Media Buzz

Tobacco products often appear in influencers posts on social media. And, in turn, they reach a huge audience including young people who are under the legal age for smoking. Brands pay millions to have their products promoted on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. You’ll see ads with influencers who associate tobacco brands with freedom, having fun, being cool and relaxation. For example, the campaigns organized by JUUL, a famous e-cigarette producer, feature influencers attending parties. The influencers posted content using tactics such as hashtags like #LightsCameraVapor, #JUUL, and #NYC for extended reach and to increase brand awareness. The company’s sales increased proportionally with the growth of their social media followers.

all that social media buzz
When tobacco brands chose to invest in these types of marketing campaigns, the positive effects always rains down on their distributors. One example of this is SnusDirect.com who – even though they’re doing their own fair share of marketing as well – can leverage from providing their customer base with large and well-known brands in order to stay on top of the competition. By having these kind of products in their assortment, they get marketing activations free of charge since larger brands often have more extensive brand awareness versus smaller brands.

Fair Use of Social Influencers

Although most tobacco brands use social media influencers exclusively to attract more customers, regardless of their age, you’ll also find transparent and fair online retailers such as SnusDirect. The online store clearly defines its target audience and only uses influencers who identify with the brand’s feel and buyers’ persona.

For example, SnusDirect organized a couple of online YouTube campaigns in partnership with the influencer mudjug1 who exclusively engages with adult prospects. Both SnusDirect and mudjug1 share the same target audience, respectively adults who consume snus products.

During the two videos, respectively “Making My Own Coffee DIP!” and “WOW! My first Time Trying SIBERIA”, the influencer highlights the features and benefits of Al Capone Coffee snus and Siberia snus from SnusDirect. The videos comprise reviews of these two snus brands and contain useful information about how to consume them for the best effects. Both videos are optimized to reach the right audience by mentioning keywords in the titles and a relevant description highlighting a 50% discount, $5 off the price and respectively a contest.

Wrapping It Up

Most big players in the tobacco industry such as e-cigarette and vape producers use social media only to attract more buyers, regardless of their age. They use a range of marketing techniques to make their brands more appealing and use tactics such as associating smoking with freedom, fun or relaxation. However, you’ll also find that some tobacco producers exclusively target people who are of legal age and already smoke cigarettes or use vapes, e-cigarettes, and snus.